48 Hours a Day
Chapter 161 - Order
Before the banquet began, Billy introduced some of the captains and businessmen that he knew to Zhang Heng. Pirates usually preferred to keep everything to themselves, but that didn’t mean that they weren’t social animals. All too often, they would employ the assistance of trusted pirate crews if they encountered targets that they could not handle alone. No harm would be done by getting to know more people.
All the pirates attending the banquet were part of the black-market alliance. They were just trading partners and had nothing against the Jackdaw. As long as Zhang Heng did not stop them from getting rich, they didn’t care who he worked with. Half an hour later, almost all the guests had arrived. Still, Malcolm, the host, was not here.
After a while, the butler from the entrance came onto the stage.
“Before the banquet begins, Mr. Malcom has prepared you a simple performance. I hope you will enjoy it.”
The butler then rang his bell once again. This time, two men were being sent out to the stage. Instantly, the atmosphere grew tense. Both of them were topless, with only a pair of boxers on them. Their hands and feet were cuffed, and they had bulging muscles as hard as steel. They gave off the impression of wild animals that had just come out of the forest. A few female audiences could not help but let out screams of fear. A group of guards escorted these men and were shoved onto the stage at gunpoint. After that, the guards uncuffed them, with the others closely watching and ready to open fire if something went wrong.
“This is not your first stint. You should know the rules better than anyone else. I’m not going to waste my breath here. Kill your opponents in the given time, and you will live to see tomorrow. Otherwise…”
The butler then drew his gun and shot a black servant that was pouring wine for the audience. Her blood splattered all over the place, and she soon stopped breathing. The butler then calmly kept away his gun as if nothing had happened. Two other black servants trembled in fear when they saw the butler, signaling them to move the body out and clean the blood on the floor.
“I don’t wish for that to happen to either of you. After all, Mr. Malcom spent a lot of money to purchase you two. You are warriors; beasts! I don’t think your dignity would allow you to be put down by a gun, right? So, I need the two of you to bring some happiness to our guests down there!”
After that, the butler left the stage. The two black muscular men glared at each other before pouncing on each other without hesitation. The guests were lit with excitement, with the pirates noisily clanking the dinnerware to hype up the atmosphere. Even the plump businessmen were eager to watch the fight from the front row with their women. Many centuries had passed, but humans still had a liking for gladiator fights like this. In the modern world, such barbarism had become a rarity. In the 18th century, the blacks were often forced to participate in these brutal genocides to entertain the whites.
In the era, black people were nothing more but commodities. The moment a person’s humanity was reduced to such lows, it was evident that people enjoyed such a degree of barbarism, all the more without the pressure of the standards of modern society.
“Order. Isn’t that a good thing?”
Suddenly, Zhang heard someone talking behind him.
“Without order, those men on the stage would still be living in some tiny village in Africa. They would be fighting with spears over some worthless women. There would be no audience to witness that. Right now, they can put their muscular bodies and fighting skills to good use by entertaining us.”
The person talking Zhang Heng was a slender and lanky middle-aged man wearing a suit. He stared at the stage, serious and unmoving.
“Everything I said applies to other black slaves as well. Before slave traders captured them, they were living in utter chaos. Their only purpose in life was to fight for food and territory. They were no different than wild, senseless beasts from the jungle. One should never let such masculinity go to waste.”
“As for now, the slaves are sold to the New World. We have designed a reward and punishment system for them. We even assigned them different jobs based on their capabilities. Some are assigned to the fields and some to the mines. And then some… are assigned to entertain us. We have freed them from the agony of looking for food. We have found a true purpose for their bodies. In return, they help us to earn quite a bit of money. Isn’t that the true meaning of order?”
“You are talking about your wealth, right? I think they would prefer to look for food than living like this,” scoffed Anne.
As they talked, the fight on the stage had reached its climax. The black slave with a scar on his face was dominating the fight. He jumped up and pushed his opponent to the ground without mercy. After that, he started to punch his head nonstop. The audience had become bored with the sound of cracking bones. However, when blood was finally spilled, the spectators roared into a round of applause.
“They are just items to me. I’m using my property to bring me more wealth. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, the black-market alliance is different. It’s all about partnership. We need you guys to bring me more loot, and you guys need me to sell them for you. You see. Our relationship is a mutual one.
“Even the pirates that dislike us can’t deny this fact as well. The existence of a black-market alliance has created a stable income for many of them. This is what order can bring to Nassau.
“I know what you are about to say. In every situation that has an order, the rules always favor the stronger side. Like in Nassau, for instance, the black-market alliance is willing to offer a higher price to the captains because they are dominant enough to bring home more loot to their flock.
“Before the black-market alliance, the black-market merchants had been doing the same thing. They would offer bigger bonuses to the more powerful captains. This was an unwritten rule. We simply made it official in Nassau. As for our previous negotiation, you must know that we weren’t trying to make your life difficult.”